Indian delights: Green bean poriyal

October 27, 2013

Green Bean Poriyal

If you haven’t caught wind of the theme, this week it’s definitely all about the Indian food as we lead up to Diwali. Earlier this week I shared my all-time favorite Indian recipe, bhindi masala (spiced okra in English). Today, I’m sharing another vegetable dish, green bean poriyal. You may remember, I’m not a big fan of green beans. A couple of years back my local nursery gave me a couple of free green bean plants, and I decided to make a green bean bhaji, which really turned me on to green beans for the first time in …well, ever. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m still growing green beans, and I decided I needed to find a different way to prepare them. So I tried poriyal, which I’ve had at my mother-in-law’s house and really loved. So long as you have some help stringing your beans (something I hate to do), this recipe is really quick and easy. It doesn’t require you to hang around too long sauteing vegetables and doesn’t really have much to chop, other than the beans.

As with the okra, this can be a great side dish, or you can just start to pile up the various veggie Indian dishes and add a bit of rice, and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Green bean poriyal
Serves 4
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon urid dal, rinsed
1 thai chile, stemmed and halved
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
3 to 4 curry leaves
1 pound green beans, string and ends removed, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Heat the oil in a skillet (one that has a lid, but we’re not using it yet) over medium heat. Add everything from the mustard seeds to the curry leaves and stir a bit in the oil. When the seeds begin to pop, add the beans and season with salt. Stir to coat the green beans with the spices and oil. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet (taking care not to burn yourself, the oil can splatter sometimes at this point), and cover the skillet with the lid. Cook over low heat until the green beans are tender, about 15 minutes.

When the beans are tender, remove them and place in a bowl, topping with the coconut flakes. Serve hot.

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